Al-Qaeda Affiliate Claims Mali Car Bomb

Al-Qaeda Affiliate Claims Mali Car BombAl-Qaeda Affiliate Claims Mali Car Bomb

Al-Qaeda’s North African affiliate says a group linked to it carried out the suicide attack that killed at least 50 people in northern Mali.

A vehicle packed with explosives detonated at a camp housing soldiers and members of rival armed groups in the region’s main city, Gao, BBC reported.

The attack targeted soldiers and members of rival armed groups who conduct regular patrols to secure northern Mali.

Mali’s northern desert region has been restive since it was captured by militants in late 2012.

Despite French military intervention in 2013, the region remains tense.

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb said the suicide bombing was meant to punish rebel groups cooperating with France, according to a statement obtained by the SITE Intelligence Group.

AQIM said a group called al-Mourabitoun was responsible and named the bomber it said carried out the attack. Malian media had earlier suggested several bombers took part.

The victims were involved in conducting patrols in this highly volatile area under a deal backed by the UN to stop the violence there.

Al-Mourabitoun also said it was behind the hostage-taking at the Radisson Blu hotel in the Malian capital, Bamako, in November 2015, and a deadly raid on the Splendid Hotel in the capital of Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou, in January 2016.

It is not the first time the military in Mali has been targeted by a deadly attack.

In July last year, about 17 soldiers were killed and 30 others wounded in an attack on a military base in the central town of Nampala.


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